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Resilient Student Achieves Goal With John Deere Position

“I just knew this was where I was supposed to be,” Hanna J. Williams says of Penn College, which attracted her through small class sizes and personal interaction with faculty and fellow students. (Photo by Tia G. La, student photographer)

Approximately 200 employers greeted the sophomore at her first Pennsylvania College of Technology career fair. As an industrial design major, the student could approach numerous companies representing all economic sectors. But her focus was the booth decked out in yellow and green, the iconic colors of John Deere.

Hanna J. Williams fell in love with John Deere tractors while growing up on her family’s 800-acre produce farm in Marion, New York. She dreamed of working at the company responsible for the equipment that made her father’s hard farm work a bit easier.

At the career fair, she planned to take the first step to making that dream a reality. She clutched her impressive resume and confidently approached the John Deere booth. Anticipation quickly turned to dejection when company representatives informed her they were recruiting only welding majors.

“They didn’t want anything to do with me,” she recalled.

Crushed, Williams walked away from the booth … but not her dream. “I had to go back,” she said. “This is what I really wanted.”

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Published October 18, 2017 | Posted in Faculty & Staff, Industrial Design, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Sports, Students | One Comment

Students Take Direct Route From Competition to Community Service

Representing Penn College at a recent woodsmen’s meet in North Carolina, as well as in a gratifying demonstration of community service on the way home, were (from left) students Kristin E. Cavanaugh, Bellefonte; Aaron V. Jedrziewski, Williamsport; and Jackson H. Gehris, Cogan Station; G. Andrew Bartholomay, assistant professor of forest technology; and students Levi J. Weidner, Mechanicsburg; William A. Morrow, Newville; Tyler W. Lauver, Mifflinburg; Abigail L. Hufnagle, Lewisburg; and Derick S. Gower, Sunbury.

Returning from an Oct. 7 woodsmen’s competition in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Forestry Club – conveniently toting the tools that had earlier brought many of the students individual honors – put their skills to work in a much-appreciated display of public assistance.

Eight members of the club’s Woodsman Team had journeyed to The Cradle of Forestry to compete in the 22nd annual John Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet, the third consecutive year that Penn College students made the trip. While the students comported themselves admirably in their respective events, the collective Good Samaritan act that followed left no axes to grind.

“Interestingly, the chopping didn’t stop with the conclusion of the meet,” said coach and club adviser G. Andrew Bartholomay, an assistant professor of forest technology. “After breaking camp Saturday night and heading home, the team happened upon a large, dead hemlock tree that had fallen and was blocking the Pisgah Highway. Under the headlights of two college vans and several other trapped cars, the Woodsman Team went to work chopping and clearing the obstruction.”

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Penn College Launches Redesigned Athletics Website

Roar, Wildcats, roar!

Fans of Pennsylvania College of Technology Athletics now have a new and improved source for information as the department revealed its redesigned website, which features the same content that fans have enjoyed in past – with several enhancements – and a sleek, modern look.

With the creation of a new Wildcats logo in May and the department extending its contract with SIDEARM Sports, Penn College Athletics’ website provider since 2014, it was the perfect time for a new look.

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Professor’s Sabbatical Yields Virtual Adviser Prototype

Jeff L. Rankinen

During his sabbatical last spring, Jeff L. Rankinen planned to investigate the possibilities of artificial intelligence. The Pennsylvania College of Technology associate professor returned to the classroom this fall after transforming one of those possibilities into a reality.

Rankinen was part of a four-person team that earned $15,000 in funding to develop a “virtual adviser” as part of the Penn State EdTech Network’s Nittany Watson Challenge, which tasked entrants to improve the student experience via artificial intelligence. Just five of 39 teams were awarded $15,000 to create both a working prototype and minimum viable product in conjunction with IBM Watson, a technology platform focused on data analysis, natural language processing and machine learning.

“I thought the competition would be a good opportunity to learn more,” said Rankinen, who has taught electronics and computer engineering technology at Penn College since 1986. “I have been interested in artificial intelligence since beginning my graduate work at Penn State in 1987. It was very enriching to get immersed in artificial intelligence with IBM Watson during the competition.”

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It’s All in a Day’s (Net)work at Fall Career Fair

From Field House to field of opportunity

Nearly 240 employers offering more than 3,180 jobs or internships came face-to-face with the potential payroll of tomorrow at Tuesday’s Fall Career Fair in Penn College’s Bardo Gym and Field House. (Watch PCToday for more on what they found! In the meantime, check out this photo gallery of the interaction among students, alumni and corporate recruiters – which continued Wednesday, when 33 employers were scheduled to interview more than 250 students.)

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Penn College Golfers Finish in Fine Form

Pennsylvania College of Technology golfers closed out their fall season in fine fashion last week while Wildcat men’s and women’s cross-country runners each won their respective races and the men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams all chalked up victories.

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‘Career Day’ Opens Doors of Exploration for Curious Teens

Automated manufacturing technology student Aren T. Way (right) of Jersey Shore, demonstrates an industrial-scale robot during a session on “Industrial Robotics, Hydraulics and Pneumatics, and CNC Machine Tools.”

More than 900 high schoolers, hailing from 28 school districts, spent Thursday on campus for the College Transitions Office’s Career Day. Faculty and students from all six of the college’s academic schools and all three campuses spent their Fall Break day off providing close to 50 career-exploration sessions for the visitors, exposing them to dozens of the college’s “degrees that work” offerings. A few of the districts traveled as much as two hours to attend. Among the highlights was a half-day session by the Penn College accounting, finance and business administration departments and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants that featured not only information about Penn College’s technology-laden degrees, but talks by guest speakers Michael Colgan, CEO of PICPA, and Joseph Siebert, president of PICPA, about future work in these fields as firms must protect clients’ financial information, and accountants can aid investigations via “forensic accounting.” Following the presentations and a Q&A with a panel of Penn College accounting and finance students, the 200 high school participants attended an etiquette lunch in the Field House.

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Last updated October 13, 2017 | Posted in Business & Hospitality, College Transitions, Construction & Design Technologies, Events, Faculty & Staff, Health Sciences, Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies, Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, Students, Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies | This gallery contains 19 photos. | Tagged as | Leave a comment

Students Ably Document Days (and Nights) of Our Lives

A driver, donning "drunk goggles," safely replicates impairment of judgment and faculties while motoring near the Thompson Professional Development Center.

Famed ’80s philosopher Ferris Bueller once cautioned, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Luckily for the Penn College community, student photographers are on hand to attend many of the events that fill the campus calendar throughout the academic year. Here, then, while the students take a much-deserved Fall Break (and PCToday’s editor clears away some desktop backlog), a look back at three recent happenings: the annual Golf Cart Beer Run to call attention to the perils of impaired driving, “Lanterns on the Lawn,” a cancer-fighting fundraiser for Penn College Benefiting THON, and Dining Services’ Oktoberfest in the Bush Campus Center.

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Faculty ‘Academy’ Brainstorms Assessment of Students’ Headway

Health Sciences faculty member Mary Jo Saxe facilitates conversation.

A half-day Assessment Academy was held in the Bush Campus Center on Friday, focusing on a new core educational curriculum and effective ways to assess student progress in key areas of learning that include critical thinking, communication skills, and analytical and scientific literacy. Joanna K. Flynn, associate professor of mathematics and chair of the Core Curriculum Implementation Committee, began the sessions with an overview of the framework and goals of the new core curriculum. Mary Jo Saxe, associate professor of dental hygiene and chair of Penn College’s Quality Through Assessment Committee, followed with a discussion about assessment of general education and the integration of core goals and their appraisal within students’ majors. Justin M. Ingram, assistant professor of biology and head of the Science Department, led a conversation about practical ways to develop common evaluation tools, and Christopher H. Van Stavoren, assistant professor in automotive, presented a practical assessment example of a technical skill in an automotive course, with suggestions about best practices that apply in other fields.

Advocates for Equality Observe ‘Coming Out Day’

Giveaways share messages of advocacy, awareness

Staffing a table in the Hager Lifelong Education Center are (from left) Community Peer Educators Maepearl S. St. George, of Bellefonte, and Samuel J. Pham, of Camp Hill; and PC Alliance members Abigail K. Leise, of Williamsport; Julieta W. Hernandez, of Mechanicsburg; and Samantha R. Labate, of Williamsport.

Diversity and Community Engagement joined in Wednesday’s observance of the 29th annual National Coming Out Day, celebrating the LGBTQ community and people who wanted to come out as allies in support. Student leaders were stationed at a table outside Penn College’s Keystone Dining Room stocked with various pins, pride flags and snacks, and information about the coming-out process.
Photos by James “J.J.” Boettcher, student photographer

WNEP Broadcasts Student Reaction to U.S. Team’s Soccer Loss

WNEP on campusNewswatch 16’s Kristina Papa visited Penn College’s Athletic Field for student-athletes’ perspective on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s loss to Trinidad and Tobago and attendant failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 31 years. Papa spoke with Randy S. Vance, of Greenwood Lake, New York, and Taylor C. Gonzales, of Lititz – both of whom play soccer for their respective Wildcat teams – and Carly E. Engel, a student who played while in high school at South Williamsport. The segment, which aired during Wednesday evening’s newscasts, also featured footage of Brandon O. Wolff, of Effort, also on the men’s roster.

Volleyball Teams Pay Tribute to Cancer Fighters, Survivors

Wildcat women and their Elmira College counterparts form a pink ribbon in the stands Tuesday evening.

The Penn College women’s volleyball team, as well as its Elmira College opponents in Tuesday’s match, joined in a Bardo Gymnasium observance of the annual “Pink Out” for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “Each of our ladies played in honor of someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer at some point – several are still fighting the fight, some have overcome,” said coach Bambi A. Hawkins, learning laboratory coordinator for the college’s paramedic program (who also provided the photo). “It was fabulous to have the Elmira team join right in and coordinate with our ladies to create the largest ribbon they could.”

Walkers to Take to Penn College Streets to Fight Suicide

Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, yet it is preventable.

More than 250 participants from throughout Lycoming County are expected for the annual Out of the Darkness Greater Lycoming Walk at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Registration begins at 4 p.m. for the fundraising walk, which supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal of a 20-percent reduction in the annual rate of suicide by 2025.

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Campuswide Collaboration Fights Hunger, ‘One Tray at a Time’

Cafeteria trays are piled with donated non-perishables in a Penn College office, an effort duplicated across campus in support of The Cupboard.

A recent weeklong initiative by Pennsylvania College of Technology students and employees turned retired cafeteria trays into platforms for the most successful campaign yet to benefit the on-campus food pantry.

The Cupboard, opened in September 2016 adjacent to the CC Commons dining unit, has seen a 30-percent increase in usage by students this fall. To help meet that demand, Dining Services and Institutional Advancement innovatively teamed to battle hunger across campus.

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Penn College Appoints Dean of Business & Hospitality

Lisa M. Andrus

Lisa M. Andrus, who has more than 20 years of professional experience in a variety of fields including hospitality, government, small business, health care and higher education, has been named dean of business and hospitality at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

A Williamsport native, Andrus returned to the area after earning a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations, and a doctorate in administration and leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University